Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

2 Evernote Future Plans Revealed

2009-06-17

More than ever, I wish I owned the iPhone; not the iTouch.

Before diving into the future of Evernote, make sure you know today’s news, by either looking at this announcement, or watching this video:

Evernote is one of those killer apps out there. I won’t spell its main features here. You should know them already. But let’s remember a few things.

Evernote runs on:

  • Your PC (under either Apple’s or Microsoft’s charm)
  • Your Mobile phone
  • Your iPod Touch
  • Your Browser

Evernote syncs your notes perfectly between each one of these platforms. And it’s very good at letting you organize your notes the way(s) you want.

I have only scratched the surface, and yet, Evernote is already besting out a lot of those cool Information Collection applications out there, including OneNote, EagleFiler, Together, Yojimbo, et al.

As if all that Evernote already does wasn’t enough, let me now share with you two secret, future features of Evernote, which are being planned by the company:

  1. Evernote will let web page clips keep their whole visual identity. Everything – layout, fonts, colors, images – will look exactly the same as it looked in your browser when you clipped it. The guys behind Evernote recognize how important this is to us – they’ve already shown us their commitment to keeping a hi-fi visual identity. It’s great to see they’re continuing in this line.
  2. Evernote will let you keep more metadata about your notes. You’re already able to tag your notes. You’ll be able to write notes about some part of another note; so one note could contain many notes about it. And all of these metanotes will be non-destructive. At last, you’ll be able to use a yellow pen to highlight key points in text, for future quick reference, and improved, preferred search results.

There’s many web products out there that have tried the annotation gig. If there’s one product that can at last solve it, it’s Evernote. That said, in this social era, I need to mention they also plan, of course, to put as much social sauce on these features as needed for us to thrive sharing our notes. I’m really glad about their plans.

When these features will start showing up, I will at last be able to stop using delicious/diigo/etc. – Evernote will be much better at keeping my bookmarks, with their visual identity, their full text, and my annotations. In fact, Evernote will kind of become my personal documents’ replicated file system. I will use it every day, and will rely on it for so many things in my life that I will be glad to pay them a subscription. And you will, too.

Oh, one more thing. These news might also come out as news to Evernote, the corporation. I don’t know if they knew they were planning these features; all I know is that if they didn’t yet, they now do.

Update: Phil Libin, Evernote’s CEO, twitted me: “Your Evernote secrets are surprisingly accurate. No promises on dates, though. Try shift-clicking on the Safari clipper.”

Advertisements

Do Macs really wake up faster than PCs?

2009-06-17

Doesn’t the following sound like an overloaded computer with insufficient RAM?

“It takes 15 minutes to boot from the off position and 5-10 minutes to wake up from sleep.” – anonymous, 8th paragraph of this post on MacApper.

Unbelievable. It’s not a computer, it’s a swaputer. I would definitely have to fight hard not to hate my employer if he forced me to use such a sluggishness. Or maybe it’s anonymous‘ fault for not recognizing the limits of hardware, for not ever refusing to install this neat new little, long-running, resident application.

Anyway. Let’s tackle the heart of the matter.

We switched to Mac in late 2007 and never looked back.

We still have a late 2003 Windows XP laptop that we use every day while the other one is lucky enough to use the 24-inch iMac.

I’ve always been wondering why Mac people keep saying Macs wake up from sleep faster than Windows PCs. Even my old Windows laptop wakes up in three seconds. Remember, that’s the benchmark of a 6 years-old model! Heck, our iMac is just two seconds faster at waking up!

Now, were I to have a recent Windows PC whose hardware is on par with my iMac’s, I believe it makes sense it would wake up almost 100% as fast as my iMac, wouldn’t it?

No wonder I keep asking myself if it’s out of good or bad will that people keep saying Macs wake up faster! Even Apple recognizes their OS could wake up from sleep faster. After all, they tout Snow Leopard does it up to twice faster. (I know, this doesn’t support the argument. But still!)

That said, I must confess a couple irregularities.

To keep our old laptop from being too slow, we don’t use any typical Windows security software. No anti-virus and the like. (In fact, I’ve been doing this for 15 years without problems! Looks like we’re very good Internet citizens.)

Also, I don’t allow almost any kind of software to be always running, always present in the notification area unless it’s really always needed.

So these two factors might account for our Windows laptop waking up so fast. And for all typically secured and app’ed Windows computer’s sluggishness at waking up from sleep.

What’s your take on this?

Apple Mighty Mouse: Pros & Cons

2008-06-18

Here’s yet another post about the UnMighty Mouse.  I thought Apple needed me to spell it out loud and clear, short and sweet.  I’m often verbose, but this time, I ain’t gonna be.

Here’s my personal list of pros and cons after 6 months of full-time usage of the Mighty Mouse:

Pros

  1. I am addicted to its scroll ball, and
  2. it looks and feels great (glossy, light).

Cons

  1. But it sometimes right-click when I left-clicked, or the reverse, and it’s getting worse over time;
  2. I sometimes need to clean the scroll ball, and
  3. we cannot simultaneously click both left and right buttons, and
  4. right clicks are not 100% accurate, and
  5. right clicks cannot be done fast enough for action games, and
  6. the optical sensor makes the mouse cursor sometimes jump, while my non-Apple mouse never fails on the same surface, and
  7. generally, its optical sensor works much less well than my Logitech’s laser sensor.

I’ve cross-posted this list to the product reviews in Apple Store.

Oh, yeah: kudos to Logitech and Microsoft for their great mice.

A Review of the Mighty Mouse, pt. 2

2008-06-12

Update: My final list of pros & cons of this Rotten Rodent.

My wife and I stopped using Apple’s Mighty Mouse because we are unremeditably annoyed by two frequent problems it has.  First, the mouse cursor often jumps for no good reason.  Second, the mouse started a few months ago to make occasional errors of registering right clicks instead of left clicks.  What a chiefly annoyance!  Bye bye, UnMighty Mouse!  We’ll only miss your scroll ball

A Review of the Mighty Mouse

2008-02-11

mighty-mouse.gif

Update (2008-06): I now hate the Mighty Mouse.

Switching from a regular PC to a Mac also means, in most cases, switching keyboards and mice.  When I started using my brand-new iMac, I wasn’t sure if I’d like the Mighty Mouse, but I wanted to give it a chance, so I decided I would use it exclusively for at least two weeks.

My first impression was that I’d miss my back and forward buttons.  And let me tell you I do.  Next, I found it’s hard to use the side buttons, and up to this day, this hasn’t changed.  I was also really surprised to learn that the side buttons are in fact together only one button.

After a few days, I was hooked at its scroll wheel.  Er, sorry, I meant scroll ball.  It’s addictive.  It’s wonderful.  It’s even ergonomic.  Scroll wheels hurt.  Scroll balls don’t.  Scroll wheels wouldn’t if they were designed as small as this ball.  And I say that with some experience with carpal tunnel problems.

What’s funny is that after two weeks, I still hadn’t understood how to succeed at right-clicking every time I tried it.  Most of the time, the mouse would register a left click instead.  It would drive me nuts.  And it’s even funnier that my wife picked it up fine starting on day one.  But we weren’t able to find what it was I wasn’t doing well.

Seeing something was (ironically) wrong with me, I decided I wouldn’t revert to my Logitech mouse until I had solved this problem for myself and tried the mouse in this new glorified way for at least one more week.  And then, a few days later, I found out you have to make sure no finger remains on the left side of the mouse when you push on its right side.  That’s so counter-intuitive.  I mean, why should I need to lift my left finger before right-clicking?  My wife, on the other side of the fence, always did this with any mouse.  How (un)lucky she is!

The most annoying problem of the Mighty Mouse is that its cursor sometimes jumps from one place in the screen to another one when we’re moving the mouse, instead of following our movement.  At first, I thought I was facing some kind of bug in OS X.  Now, I believe it’s because this mouse’s optical system has some problems recognizing the surface of my desk.  When I try my Logitech mouse, I never face this problem.  Let me tell you it’s a really annoying bug, and no, I don’t want to use any kind of mouse pad.  That would ruin the careful looks of my workplace, wouldn’t it?

So, after 4 months using the Mighty Mouse, how do I feel?  Well, I think it’s time to buy a new desk.

Seriously, I hope Apple will make a better device soon.  I would gladly encourage them to continue producing half-crap devices by buying their next mouse instead of switching back to my previous mouse.  Until then, I’m going to rock (argh…) and roll (yay!) with my Mighty Mouse because I’m hooked at the Mighty Scroll Ball.

20 Observations from a Switcher

2008-02-02

apple.jpg

Update (2008-06): Updated to reflect how it works for me now.

Like most computer users who started with a Windows system, I once believed Macs are mostly crap or hype.

Background

That said, I would never have considered switching if Apple hadn’t introduced Mac OS X.  Mac OS 9 wasn’t my cup of tea (I used it for some school projects).

Through the last 7 years, my progressive discovery of the open source community in general drove me more and more to feel and experience how Windows sucks for a non-ms developer.  I needed some kind of unix/linux flavor, and even in 2007, my opinion was that linux distributions aren’t mature enough for me.  But linux is worth another rant.

When I started to understand in 2005 that Mac OS X had redefined the game and was indeed a great system, my interest raised enough for me to start reading a bit about it when bloggers would mention it.

In 2006, I saw the birth of MacTels and much more people starting to switch.  At that point, I was really enthralled by Leopard’s promises.  But I wasn’t ready to switch.  I needed to realize a three more things:

  • Mac OS X is so much based on a unix system that it’s in fact the best unix/linux-compatible distribution out there for the mass market, while at the same time being great for developers.
  • I can replace all the Windows applications I use with strong Mac alternatives.
  • Buying a Mac is a no-risk decision, since I could always switch back to Windows with the same Mac by using BootCamp.

When I understood all these facts, I knew I needed to give OS X its chance.  That’s when I started waiting for Leopard’s release.  This waiting wasn’t the happiest of all, especially after MacWorld 2007 came without the next cat.  I was of those wanting Steve Jobs to tell us to go buy our Macs now and he’d ship us Leopard later for free, but now I’m happy I waited.  I got a 24” aluminum iMac instead of a 20” plastic iMac.  I bought it one week before Leopard’s release and I ordered the 10$ upgrade disc to get Leopard one week after its release.  I received it three weeks after its release, probably because I’m Canadian.  I was angry at first, and then I felt deceived and sad about that.  When I finally received Leopard, I forgot all about that and continued using my shining, brand new iMac.

Observations

  1. I’m lost! I’ve used DOS and Windows for about 14 years and now I must find how to do almost anything.  …After a few days, most of that feeling was gone.
  2. PhotoBooth is a great deal of fun. My wife would like us to take one picture of us each and every day.
  3. System Preferences are much easier to browse and use in general than those of Windows XP.  And it’s really great that they all take effect without having to click on an OK button. (more…)